Monday, June 29, 2009

Between the Raindrops

It has been raining or foggy for the past week or so...can't remember the last time I saw the sun. I like the rain, but this is a little much. I snapped this photo during a non raining but overcast moment a couple of days ago.

The good news is that the veggie garden seems to be doing well. Bad news is that my lovely orange geraniums are full of mould. The guineas are looking rather scraggly with their wet feathers but continue to cruise the acreage in battalion formation. When it pours with rain, they voice their displeasure.

Let's hope that Mother Nature gives us a break on July 1st for the Canada Day celebrations!

Profile: Melanie Hughes

Melanie Hughes

Melanie's photograph "Frolic And Play" is on page 13 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Here's a bit about Melanie, in her own words:

I'm an amateur photographer who was born outside of Cleveland, OH, grew up in Charlotte, NC, spent a few years in LA and is now back in Ohio in Columbus where I hope to stay for a long time! Except for a black/white photography class in college, I'm self-taught and love taking photos of nature, architecture and especially my pets (2 dogs and a cat). Macro shots of flowers are also some of my favorites. I love spending time on creative activities and when I'm not taking photos, I'm usually either sewing, making jewelry or knitting. Aside from my creative activities, I love spending time outside, enjoying the fresh air by going for walks/runs with my dogs, working on my yard or hiking at local parks.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I usually don't comment on world events, but the passing of Michael Jackson deserves some blog time. He played a role in my life, and in my son's life too. The Jackson 5 was one of the first bands I LOVED when I was young. (add Donny Osmond, the Partridge Family, and Tom Jones...yes, Tom mom thought I was too young to like Tom).

Flash forward to 2005 and Michael Jackson was my son's favourite singer. Cody performed Smooth Criminal for a drama class project. He also played Michael Jackson's role in Thriller, part of the grade 12 graduation performance. Wish I could show you the video...the girls all screamed when he did the moonwalk, and the Thriller dance was awesome. These photos are from the dress rehearsal.Strange man that Michael turned out to be, but no one can deny he was a huge influence on the music industry.

Profile: Michelle Campbell-Zurek

Michelle Campbell-Zurek
Etsy Shop

Michelle's photograph "Dogg the hungry kitty" is on page 4 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.A little bit about Michelle, in her own words...

After working in TV as a graphic designer and a promotions producer, I decided to pursue my love of art, primarily painting and photography. I’m originally from the east coast and I currently live in Los Angeles with my husband, our dog and our 3kitties. Along with urban areas, architecture and nature, my sweeties are some of my favorite subjects to photograph.

My main website:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Backyard Birds

On Tuesday, we took the dogs to Rissers Beach. One thing about rainy keeps people away from the beaches. We had the beach to ourselves. Cassie can spend endless hours retrieving a stick from the ocean....I think John gets tired of throwing long before Cassie gets tired of fetching! Two foxes kept a close eye on us the whole time, but our dogs were oblivious to the foxes. Of course, I didn't have my camera with me. So....I headed back to Rissers on my own yesterday with my camera to capture the foxes. No go. No foxes to be found. I'll have to content myself with my backyard bird photos for now.
Can you tell I like Evening Grosbeaks?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Profile: Kecia Deveney

Kecia Deveney

Kecia's artwork "Blossom Playing In The Garden" is on page 28 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Here's a bit about Kecia, in her own words:

Originally from California, I am a mixed media/jewelry artist/photographer, who now resides in New Jersey. Drawing inspiration from my life experience as the mother of a severely disabled child, I have channeled that energy into learning and creating art.

I've been known to go to a flea market on the hottest days in the summer or 17 degrees in the winter to see what I can find to play with. Experimenting with "reclaimed discardia" results in many unique pieces of storytelling art. You can read more about my artistic journey on my blog at .

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Welcoming Sign

This is the fourth day in a row that we've had steady rains interspersed with torrential downpours. Forecast says there will be no sun for the next seven days. Welcome to Nova Scotia!

The rain took a short break yesterday, so John mounted our freshly painted Welcome sign on one of the trees on our driveway...just before you leave the forest and reach the open field on the way to our house. I used leftover paints and a scrap piece of wood to paint the sign.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Profile: Gigi Leonard

Gigi Leonard

Gigi's photograph "Dog Days Of Summer" is on page 30 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.
Gigi is a native Midwesterner and Chicago-based self-taught photographer. She has had a latent passion for photography since she was a child, but only recently has taken the steps to express herself creatively, and to the public, through her digital imagery. Gigi regularly traverses city streets and country roads searching for the poetry that is everywhere around us, and striving to visually capture the challenge of finding hidden allure, joy and movement in our everyday lives.

When she isn’t behind the lens, Gigi curates an eclectic blend of art and design finds on her blog,

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Osprey Watching

On our way to Bear River on Wednesday, John spotted an osprey nest. To our joy, there was an osprey in the nest. We stopped the car and I jumped out to get some photos. We think it might have some eggs in the nest. She was quite distressed and circled and keened while I took my photos. I could have stayed and watched for hours, but we didn't stay long...I didn't want to stress her too much. All I can say is.....magnificent!

Profile: Julie Magers Soulen

Julie Magers Soulen
Julie's Blog

Julie's photograph "Golden In Snow" is on page 38 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Since moving to Colorado more than 20 years ago, Julie has been an avid hiker, camper and skier. In the late 90s she moved to a house in the forest of the Rocky Mountain foothills where she lives off-the-grid. Her love of nature is reflected in her photography and she has traveled the length of the Rockies, from New Mexico to northern Canada, seeking to capture the endless beauty of the West.

Julie's photography was featured for over eight years on in "The Colorado Journal". She has also been featured on the Daily Ray of Hope published by the Sierra Club. Her blog link is :

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bear River

Yesterday we headed over to Bear River for lunch. Many of the town's waterfront buildings are built on stilts to keep above the high tides of the Fundy tidal system.Our previous visits to Bear River were in off season, so I was happy to finally get a peak in a couple of the interesting shops this time. First, I dropped into Flight of Fancy, a gallery full of treasures made by mostly Maritime artisans.
Notice the cutie-patootie under the display table?
If you know me, you know I LOVE glass...this was one of my favourite pieces in the gallery.This photo is for all ladies with a shoe fetish. These shoes are carved from wood...all one piece, and they are even laced with thread. I can't wear anything above a 2 inch heel myself!We had lunch at the Changing Tides Diner. (sadly, no peanut butter pie was available!) It was a very hot day, and we couldn't leave the dogs in the car. The owner let us bring the dogs with us and we dined on the deck. Both dogs were wonderfully well behaved.

After our lunch, we popped over to the park and I found a treasure...Inn Out of The Fog. First, the gardens were absolutely stunning. My "perfect" garden...full of character and lots of interesting things and flowers to look at. The owner was sitting on the porch, and I confessed I was a garden nut. She kindly took me on a tour of her private gardens...they have a wonderful site on the hill overlooking the river. It was previously a gravel parking lot, and has been created over the past 10 years. (there is hope for my garden yet...I guess I just have to be patient)Aside from the Inn, there are 2 businesses on the ground floor. The Innocent Rose is on the right as you enter and has wonderful vintage items. But the treasure trove is on the left...Oddacity Designs. You'll just have to check her website to see how talented this woman is! Someday, I'd love one of her one-of-a-kind jackets!

I asked for her card, and was given this:Handmade, one of a kind... it says "Grow Daily"....a great motto for all of us to remember (and it will be going on my inspiration board over my computer). You can find this hidden gem next to the windmill in Bear River.

Profile: Bonnie Schwartz

Bonnie Schwartz

Bonnie's photograph "All Cleaned Up" is on page 32 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

A few words from Bonnie:

My name is Bonnie Schwartz. I live in Asheville, NC. I have only been interested in photography for the last few years. Now I am never without my camera! I especially enjoy taking photographs of all animals (especially my dogs and cats). I also enjoy nature photography. I have started selling some of my prints and note cards on Etsy.

My work can be viewed at my Etsy shop:
My blog is:
You can also view my photography at:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday morning

I haven't been blogging about what's been going on around here lately...having too much fun to sit down and write about it I guess.

Lots of gardening going on. I've gone a little bit shrub crazy (never bought a shrub at our former home) and have planted all of them. Expanded our gardens this year. When we moved here last year, there was not one bit of landscaping. It has been a lot of work to put some gardens in, but it's starting to pay off. I have started a lot of the gardens from seed, which takes longer but is a lot easier on the pocket book! I'll post some garden photos later this summer.

I've been working on some glass windows too....but won't be able to post photos of them for a while because they are gifts!

We're off to Bear River today for lunch....a very nice drive, and we're hoping to score some chocolate peanut butter pie!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Profile: Rachel Parker

Rachel Parker
Rachel's Blog

Rachel's painting, entitled "Applehead Lit", is on page 7 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Rachel Parker is a self taught artist who works mainly in watercolors. As the daughter of artist Gretchen Parker, she was raised going to art lessons and watching her mother paint. She has been drawing since she was old enough to hold a pencil, and began painting in 2000.

Her motivation for creating is to capture what may otherwise go unnoticed, to reveal the beauty in simple moments and objects. Making an image come alive on the paper is her inspiration. Rachel has sold her work nationally and internationally through She paints at night and during weekends and works full time as a school social worker.

Rachel does commissions. She sells most of her work online; she maintains a blog and enjoys interacting with her patrons on a daily basis. She often has contests on her site for people to have a chance at winning free prints or a painting of their pet. Visit her blog at to participate!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


One of my personal challenges this summer is to capture a clear photo of one of our hummers. To be continued...

Profile: Cait Wade

Cait Wade

Cait's photograph entitled "Companion" is on page 33 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Cait is a freelance photographer based in Chicago who specializes in night, low-light, and macro photography. She operates a music and photography blog called M45.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wildlife sightings

DIL gave us a few irises last year, and we have a few blooms. I had never been an iris fan, but they are actually quite beautiful.

We've seen lots of wildlife in the past week, and I wanted to post about them before I forget...unfortunately no photographic evidence of the sightings! First, on Saturday, we saw a coyote in our driveway when we were leaving to go to the Branch LaHave Ox Pull. The coyote scurried off the driveway, but stood about 20 feet into the woods and looked back at us. We sat for a few minutes watching. He looked quite healthy...just like out of a picture book...staring back at us through the trees. I think we found the beneficiary of our guinea hen!

We saw a rabbit on our way back from the Ox Pull. DIL and G have lots of bunnies at their place, but we haven't seen any around here.

On Sunday evening, we took a drive to look at a mini barn that was for sale. On our way back, John spotted a fawn on the road. She quickly got off the road, and into the ditch, and promptly laid down. I have never seen such a young fawn in "real life" before. Hopefully her mom was close by to give her a scolding for going on the road.

Tuesday we headed out to Risser's Beach to take the dogs for a run. They have the dunes blocked off with fencing, and just beyond the fence sat a fox. The fox stayed in the same spot as we walked the length of the beach and back. On our way back, we spotted a second fox about 20 feet away from the first fox...much brighter red, and noticeably larger. Perhaps a pair of foxes that had a den of kits? I was wishing for my camera.

Our red tailed hawk has been sighted a few times this week....soaring and diving. It's a thrill every time we see it.

We're so fortunate to live here!

Profile: Benedetta Bozzo

Benedetta Bozzo
Benedetta's blog

Benedetta's painting "Hope" is on page 20 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book. Benedetta created this piece of art specifically for our project, and sold the original on Ebay with 50% of the proceeds benefitting the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.

Benedetta was born in Sassari, an Italian city located a few miles from the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Her passion for art was evident since an early age, when she would participate in local art festivals for young emerging artists.

She moved to the United States when she was seventeen to spend time with her father who was living in North Carolina. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a B.A. and later earned an M.A. from the University of Baltimore.

Benedetta's unique paintings and art dolls reflect her admiration for the warmth and simplicity of folk art, the whimsical and the eclectic, and the peace and purity found in sacred art.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Profile: Leslye Wilkins

Leslye Wilkins
Leslye's blog

Leslye's painting "Queen Kodi" is on page 37 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Some words from Leslye:

Throughout my entire life I have been happiest when creating some form of art, and was encouraged by my family, teachers, and friends, who felt that I had a special talent. I earned a degree in fine art from Berry College in Rome, Georgia, and was soon hired by an advertising agency as Art Director. I have continued in that field and derived much satisfaction from my work.Aside from that I continue to be involved in painting, pottery, metalsmithing, and photography for pleasure. I derive the most satisfaction when something I have created can benefit a worthy cause. Several of my paintings have been sold in connection with community fund raising projects One of the most exciting was our Town Turtle Project for the city of Sandy Springs, GA. I painted 2 of the 72 fiberglass turtle sculptures, each 5 ft tall, that were placed throughout the city and later auctioned off, raising more than $700,000.00 which was used to purchase eleven parks to create greenspace for our community- making it one of the most successful urban art projects ever.I am so happy to be a part of this "art book" project and hope it, too, will be successful in raising money for a breast cancer cure.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Walk on the Wild Side

I took another walk down the driveway with my macro lens. Amazing how many different wildflowers you can find at this time of year!